Iran Hits at ‘Failed’ E.U. Negotiations as It Boosts Nuclear Activity

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, from left, wait for the start of prior to a bilateral meeting as part of the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran at a hotel in Vienna, Austria, Friday, July 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
AP/Ronald Zak

European Union (E.U.) parties to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal have failed to deliver on their commitments under the pact, Iran accused Sunday, a day after Tehran announced it will look to exceed its nuclear activity as originally agreed.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi made the claim in a joint conference with the visiting Acting Director General of IAEA Cornel Feruta, the domestic MEHR news agency reported.

He said Europe has failed in all its promises to Iran.

“Unfortunately the European parties have failed to fulfill their commitments … The deal is not a one-way street and Iran will act accordingly as we have done so far by gradually downgrading our commitments,” Salehi lamented.

“Iran will continue to reduce its nuclear commitments as long as the other parties fail to carry out their commitments.”

Salehi’s remarks came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday ordered his country’s nuclear industry to develop faster uranium enrichment technology, marking another major breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.

“From Friday we will witness research and development on different kinds of centrifuges and new centrifuges and also whatever is needed for enriching uranium in an accelerated way. All limitations on our research and development will be lifted on Friday,” Rouhani declared in a televised address.

Rouhani insisted Iran’s accelerated uranium enrichment will be “peaceful, under surveillance by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, and reversible.” The enhanced enrichment Rouhani hinted at would be unnecessary for civilian nuclear power, but it would shorten Iran’s “breakout time” for developing nuclear bombs.

France, Germany and the UK have tried to launch a barter trade mechanism with Iran protecting it from U.S. sanctions but have failed to get it off the ground, and Tehran on Wednesday set a 60-day deadline for effective European action.

Europe’s negotiations with Iran have struggled from the outset, with the E.U. seemingly unable to agree on anything and exasperating Iran with its continued prevarication and internal arguments.

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